Sunday, November 29, 2009
Mike, Chaz and I met at Mike's home at 6:30AM on Saturday for another longer run. We planned on doing 17 miles along the same hilly course and even add a few more hills to make it 17. My plan was to run it nice and slow like last week but this time, not pick it up at the end. I was about 28F out when we started but it was sunny so it would warm up some. It is colder now up here so this time I had on 3 shirts (1 long, 2 short) but still wore my shorts. I am not ready to pull out the running tights quite yet. I can handle the cold on my legs so no worries.
Mike and Chaz kept with me for the first 2 miles before they took off and ran close to 8:00 pace as I kept it between 9:20 and 9:30. It was beautiful and calm out and I felt pretty good all the way. I did have one mile under 9:00 but that was because there was a long downhill. I tried hard to keep the pace easy as that is what I am trying to do differently. I ended up averaging 9:22 for the 17 miles.
We sat around talking for awhile before I went home and took a nice hot shower as I was feeling quite cold by then. Little did I know that this was the first sign of worse to come later that night. As I am watching a movie with my oldest princess (The Sound of Music), she tells me she is feeling bad and has an upset stomach. I took her to bed and after I went to bed, I woke up freezing. I put on some sweatpants and a sweatshirt to sleep in under the covers and I was so cold. I also had a headache and felt warm. Yes a fever has hit the house. This morning I woke up still cold and achy all over. It felt like I ran a full marathon the day before I ached so much. I had the oh so fun hot and cold streaks. I even stayed home from Church today with my princess who was sick as well.
It is now 3:30ish and I am starting to feel better. I actually ate something which was good and my headache is starting to go away though it is still there. The achy body is starting to go as well so I am hoping that this was only one of those 24 hour things.
We did have some nice weather yesterday afternoon. It got to about 55 and sunny so I was able to put the rest of the Christmas lights up on the house. They are not on yet as I will wait a few more days. I am going to have to figure out how many lights I have on the house and yard this year. it is more than last year though I am no where near "Clark W. Griswold" levels. The princesses are getting excited about Christmas and will be seeing Santa next weekend. The gifts are being purchased and there are many church services to attend over the next 5 weeks. I will try to squeeze in as much running as I can during this time though I may need to do some of it early in the morning before work.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Today I did get 5 miles closer though. I went out for a run at 5:30PM and it was misty and drizzling and about 44F. After 2 miles, it was raining pretty good. The good news was that the rain made me pick up the pace so I could get out of it. I really didn't mind the rain though, I actually like running in the rain, once I am all wet that is. I mean, when you are already wet, why not enjoy it. I did wear my reflective vest today and I am glad I did. With the rain and darkness, i am sure drivers would have a hard time seeing me without it. At least most of the drivers moved out of the way in plenty of time, except, that is, for the UPS driver who was slowing down to make a delivery and decided to pull over right in front of where I was running. Hello, let's try to avoid the the bright reflective item in the road!
I am planning on getting up early for a short run before I go to my princesses school to help set up the Thanksgiving feast they have planned for the PreK, Kindergartners, and First Graders. They will put on a little show in the church first before the feast so I am looking forward to it.
Good luck to all of you running Turkey Trots this year.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
After only about 5 to 5 1/2 hours of sleep, I got up at about 5 and was to Mike's house by 6AM. A small tragedy was was in full process as I stepped into the house. Mike's son had gotten a crayfish as a school experiment and it was kept in a small Tupperware bowl. During the night, the crayfish escaped and was somewhere in the house (or the cat ate it?) Eventually it was found, alive no less, about 15 feet away near to sofa.
I was leaving before Mike and Chaz so they could run faster than me and we all end about the same time. In fact, the plan was for them to "catch me" about mile 12 and I was going to pick up the pace and run with them for the final 2 miles. So off on my own I went. The first mile was 9:06 and it was kind of hard to run that slow that early in a run. I slowed it more and actually averaged 9:40 at mile 12, perfect. We ran our usual course we call "The Looper", but this time was went down a new way for a bit to add about 2 1/2 miles to the course. None of us had run this part before and we were in for a surprise.
I take the new turn and all of a sudden, just past the herd of cows, there is a long steep downhill. the type of downhill you can't run very fast on. After crossing the river, a steep uphill until the next turn. I get to that turn and look ahead and I actually said out loud (I was by myself) "Holy Crap!" as I saw a hill that looked like a large wall. It was steep but I managed to keep my 9:35 pace. After that another downhill before the turn to another long 3/4 mile hill that was not steep, just long.
So far I am loving this new course, the hills will help so much. I get to mile 12 and look back and Mike and Chaz are nowhere to be seen. I decide to pick it up as planned without them. Like I said, so far the pace was 9:40 but mile 13 was dropped to 8:19, not all that fast for me, but fast after 12 miles. Then I had a nice easy downhill for a bit and ran mile 14 in 7:13. I was cruising! I finished with an average pace of 9:22 so I am happy with what I set out to do. I plan on running this new course again even if Chaz and Mike were cursing me while they ran behind me (it was my idea to run this new direction).
About 15 minutes later, Mike and Chaz run in and it turns out they ran about 30 seconds per mile slower that they set out to do.
I plan on another longer run next weekend. I am not sure how long but I will again try it at a slow pace. Right now I am thinking of 16 or 18 miles. I will see who is available to join me for the run first.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Yesterday I was able to use that gift well. Mike and I went on a 5 miler that turned into a 6 miler. We started out easy but after halfway, we kept picking it up. We dropped the pace to the low 8's and then Mike drove us home with a 7:17 to finish. This felt great. I did have issues with my ankle that keeps popping up but I am dealing with it. I am hoping this weekends longer run goes well too. Nice and easy.
Just remember all you runners out there. I don't care if you run marathons or as short as 5K's, God gave you a gift to run so use it to the best ability you can. And remember:
God Made You Special
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I did run again after work today. I am trying to get back in the game with running since I haven't had any real training since 2 weeks before my October marathon. It has been all taper, marathons, and recovery since then. I have some time now before the next marathon to get some good miles it. Tonight it was 5 miles by myself. It was cold, dark and windy as I started and it was very, very lightly raining. It was a good easy run. I averaged 8:25 or so and it did feel easy. I plan on running another 5 or so tomorrow so my mileage this week should be a little higher than in recent weeks. It is only 9 miles so far this week, but if I run 5 tomorrow, 5 on Friday, and 14 on Saturday, that would make it 33 for the week. Not exactly a huge week, but a lot compared to recent weeks.
Monday, November 16, 2009
If you have read my blog for awhile, you will know that when I go on a long run, I usually run it at marathon pace. This really isn't hard for me to do for a 20 miler. But all the coaches and experts say that you should run them slower. They say that the time on your feet is more important than the distance. I have always felt that if I could do these longer runs faster, I would become that much stronger. I am less convinced of this now so next year and the remainder of this year, I will try to run my long runs at a slower pace. It will probably feel really slow to me, but then again, it should feel a hell of a lot faster than, say, miles 23 through 26 of Indy. I plan on still doing a few longer runs faster, maybe even some 3-1 runs where I run slow the first 3/4 of the run and pick it up for the last 1/4 but I will give it a try.
I am also going to try to run even longer in hopes that my muscles will become stronger and less apt to tire toward the end of a race. I did do a 26 mile training run about 2 months ago before WhistleStop and I think I will do more. I may go up to 28 but I will do these runs slow like I stated up top. I might wait until spring to do these, maybe not. We will see.
I am not sure these are good ideas or bad ideas. I just know that I need to change it up some. I know I am capable of running a faster marathon and I feel I "could" run as fast as 3:30 if I train properly and pull it all together on race day
It is good to have goals. Set your goals high . . . then shatter them!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
So what have I done running-wise since I first posted? I have run many short races, 6 full marathons, and 1454 miles of running. I am not fully satisfied with my racing performances during the past 365 days but they haven't been all bad.
What has been bad is my training since my marathon 5 weeks ago. I haven't run nearly enough and I need to get back on the horse. This week is no exception. I did run 4 miles this week so far but I am recovering from the marathon this past weekend. I really ought to be out there for a nice slow 10 miler this weekend but I am not. I will get back to it next week though. I now have 2 1/2 months to train before the next marathon, actually marathon and a half.
So what did I do not running today? I went to help out my parents with some yard work and household chores. Then after I got home, it was so nice out (61F), I decided to put up the Christmas Lights. Notice I said "PUT UP" not "PUT ON" the Christmas Lights. In my mind, it is acceptable to have your lights up this early, especially up here where it could be very cold this time of year with possible snow. My rule, though, is that the lights don't go on until the first week of December. I have seen a few house with lights already on but not me. Can't you all wait until at least AFTER Thanksgiving? Let's keep the holidays in order. There is even a radio station here that started 24 hours a day Christmas Music. AARRGGHH Well, at least they waited a bit more than last year when they started on Halloween night.
OK, back to the training table and back to the roads!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The front of the house Michael Jackson grew up in.
The backyard of Michael Jackson's boyhood home. Tiny!
No running yet. Maybe a short run tomorrow. I am going over in my mind what may have gone wrong with the race and what I need to do to improve. I have some ideas and I will share them with you soon. The next marathon is The Icebreaker Indoor Marathon on January 24th. 2 1/2 month to prepare.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Why sign up so late you may ask? Well, there have been some issues with my family that I needed to make sure were is good standing before I left for a day and a half. My Dad had bone spur surgery on his foot about 3 weeks ago and is moving quite slow. Then my Mom had a biopsy done on her lungs on Monday and just got out of the hospital yesterday. Good news though, the spots are not cancer but instead are scars from a rare fever she had a few years ago. It was a scary few days for us with her, but the Lord answered our prayers!
Now all that is bad enough and they need help at home, obviously, and I do have brothers that can help, but the closest brother to where they live broke his leg about 3 weeks ago as well. Crappy few weeks for my family, huh. So he can’t help much. They my other brother close by who has been helping a lot, is having a party Saturday night and will need to prepare there. So with all that going on, I am going over to my parent’s house tonight with the Princesses to help out however I can until I return and can go back there Saturday night when I get back.
It is all good though. I will leave tomorrow morning right after 2 parent-teacher conferences and make the trek across Wisconsin, the tip of Illinois and down Indiana. I borrowed a few Comedy CD’s from a friend to help pass the time. Music for 5 hours just doesn’t cut it when you are by yourself sometimes. A little laughter always helps.
The weather looks pretty good for racing on Saturday. Sunny and a starting temp of 46ish. When I finish about 55ish. The winds are a bit high though. Close to 15 MPH from the SSW which means a tough last few miles as we go south. Maybe the building will block some. We can only hope!
Good Luck to the rest of you who may be running this weekend. I haven’t heard of anyone, but maybe someone will find this post who is running in Indy.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Jenny was an Olympic caliber marathon runner from Milwaukee. She had qualified for 4 US Olympic Marathon Trials and even was the first American woman in the 2005 New York City Marathon. In August of 2007, she was on training run in Milwaukee getting ready for the Olympic Trials in Boston about 8 months later. While on a morning run, she stepped off the curb near the end of her run and was hit by a car almost killing her. The superior shape her body was in helped save her life. Her running career was over in an instance.
I won't go into detail of what the article said. It was about her recovery and her rehabilitation and how her family is coping and how she has new and old friends helping her out. Please read the whole article to read more. Then today in the local paper here in Milwaukee, there was a story of her finally leaving the Rehab facility to live in her own apartment with a live in assistant. If you want to read that article, see HERE.
What is not said too much in the Runner's World Article or the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, is exactly how much Jenny Crain was loved and endeared by the local running community. I do not know her personally though it is possible I have spoken to her before. What is really great about her when she was a world class runner is that she was so open and friendly with the Milwaukee running community. She ran a lot of the local charity races from 5K's to 10 milers. I mean a lot of them. I can't tell you how often I saw her at races, at least I saw the back of her, for a little bit. All the kidding aside, she may have only been doing a Tempo run or a training run, but she was there with the masses of us regular runners. And she was not the type to gloat over her wins in these races or gloat about how great she was. She was humble and generous to all.
How often do you go to a local race and have a world class runner there? And with her, it was often.
I have run with a couple other world class runners in my past, and it seems that most of them are extremely nice, just like Jenny Crain. Dan Held (represented the US in the Ultra-Marathon World Championships one year) lives in the Milwaukee area and is this way. I have run with him a few times at the Pettit Center in my past faster running days on cool downs. Dan is the same, runs in a lot of the local races and is extremely friendly to everyone as well.
I wouldn't wish what happened to Jenny Crain on anyone. It is such a sad story that it happened to such a great person. But she is getting better and we all like that, especially all the runners in Milwaukee who have seen her so often.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Steve and I before the race.We met at 6 AM and drove in the darkness to where the race would begin. We signed up and did a mile and a half warm up and then headed to the start. This is kind of like a Halloween race so there were many people dressed up. Spiderman ran as well as a full grown adult baby clad in only a diaper and bonnet (quite disturbing). The race was mostly an out and back on a very flat course. The weather was warm, low to mid 70's at the 7:30 start but everyone there was glad it was cool. They have been having hot weather recently.
The gun goes off and I make sure I go out conservatively in the heat. Mile 1 was at 7:02, a little faster than I wanted but OK. The remainder of the race was very consistent for me. Every mile was between 7:00 and 7:08 and I ended in 35:19 good for near 32nd place overall out of about 200 or so runners. After checking the results, I found out that I took 3rd in my age group out of 16. COOL.
Someone took pictures during the race and posted them online including my finish.
During the awards, when they got to mentioning me, the guy announcing said my name and where I lived. When he got to Saying"Wisconsin", he said it in a questioning tone as if to say, "What the heck is someone from Wisconsin down here for?" There were runners from other states as well, Ohio, Colorado, Maryland, Indiana and even someone from Ontario, Canada. But I was the first non-Floridian to finish for whatever that is worth.
This was a nice little race and the Gulf Coast Runners put on a good event. The other runners were friendly (duh, they are runners after all) and I had a good time. If I happen to be in the Naples area again when this race it run, I would definitely go again.
A close up of the nice Halloween Ornament I received.